Pam Brulotte is Recognized with a National Award from the Brewers Association


Photos submitted by: Pam Brulotte (Above): Pam Brulotte (Below): Pam Brulotte with colleagues from the Washington State Brewers Guild, participating in the “Hill Climb” to speak to Olympia legislators on behalf of their industry.

München Haus and Icicle Brewing Company are well known sister companies, celebrating twenty and ten years, respectively, of outstanding brews and fare. Additionally, the two establishments, under the ownership of Pam and Oliver Brulotte, are leaders in community philanthropy.

Pam Brulotte recently received prestigious recognition from the Brewers Association (BA), the national nonprofit dedicated to small and independent American craft brewers. She was one of three industry award recipients, and hers was specifically the F.X. Matt Defense of the Industry Award.

Brulotte was chosen for her years of work with the Washington Brewers Guild, through which she served as an at-large board member, President and Past President. The BA applauded how, “Under Brulotte’s leadership, the guild has challenged increasing beer excise taxes and secured marketplace access for brewers, increasing their ability to sell and market their beers.”

Brulotte explained each of these aspects further. “Over the years there have been many attempts to increase beer taxes. Most breweries are small businesses. Small businesses need to be taxed less than big breweries. We have shared our story—how we employ more people and give back to our communities.” She also said that brewing requires a lot of equipment; thus it’s capital heavy, which has a bigger impact on small companies.

Small breweries’ canned beers have become much more common in local chain supermarkets, like Safeway, Costco, Fred Meyer and Walmart, and at stadiums and even at farmer’s markets. Brulotte’s efforts greatly contributed to that market access. “We’ve helped to create a more fair and level playing field,” she said.

In contrast, her companies have always received support from local stores like Cheesemonger’s, Leavenworth Safeway and Dan’s Food Market. “Dan’s is awesome,” said Brulotte. “They usually sell every beer we can!” And the restaurants have been loyal partners, buying draft beer from the very beginning from Icicle Brewing Company.

Brulotte has spent time advocating and building relationships with legislators. Every year she participates in the “Hill Climb” in Olympia and has testified in the Washington State House and Senate, and to committees.

Brulotte claims the success on industry matters, working with partners in hospitality and distribution, is through a three-pronged approach of legislate, educate (within the industry about quality, safety and best practices) and collaborate (working together to share stories).

The BA award ceremony on September 11 was part of the annual conference in Denver. Brulotte accepted her award with her whole family in attendance. In her acceptance speech, she spoke of being thankful to the München Haus and Icicle Brewing teams who work hard in all the day to day operations, enabling Brulotte to volunteer time to these organizations.

Brulotte has spearheaded many efforts to help others succeed. She’s involved in the Seattle chapter of the Pink Boots Society, which aims to expand the role for females in the beer industry. She’s been working on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) issues with the guild for a few years, and it’s more formalized and gaining momentum this last year.

For the workforce of 80 to 100 people at München Haus and Icicle Brewing Company, the Brulottes, utilizing a Skill Source grant, have offered the option to become Cicerone Certified Beer Servers, and eleven have completed level 1, while Brulotte and one other have level 2.

Another innovation is the development of a sensory lab to monitor the consistency and quality of all the beers they produce and which is also used for staff training. “We can reduce the entry requirements for positions because we have training in-house,” Brulotte said, speaking of a way they have increased equity in employment opportunity. “Now we can hire a candidate who is eager to learn.”

Icicle Brewing Company has pledged to give 1% for the planet from their wholesale sales as a “1% for the Planet” partner. Locally those proceeds have gone to nonprofits such as Wenatchee River Institute, Waste Loop,

Chelan Douglas Land Trust, Evergreen, Friends of the Hatchery and Sustainable Wenatchee. München Haus also supports many local nonprofits with their monthly Benevolent Nights.

Brulotte and husband, Oliver, have developed a brand that stands for quality, safety, integrity and sustainability. They have even gifted key team members some ownership. Oliver now serves as chair of the board, and oversees property management and new projects. Pam focuses on community outreach, professional development, DEI and makes time to be on the board of three other nonprofits, one of which, Wellness Place, is close to her heart as a breast cancer survivor.

Brulotte well deserves the BA award because she leads with passion and courage, a love of learning and a vision of how to make things better for her staff, her industry and her community.

 

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